Thursday, April 14, 2016

NPM Celebrations - International Moment of Laughter Day

April 14th is International Moment of Laughter Day. Dreamed up by Izzy Gesell, the day is designed to encourage more people to laugh. Gesell recommends celebrating by:
  • laughing out loud at the funny cards in a greeting card shop
  • calling a friend to share a funny story
  • getting naked, looking in the mirror and laughing
  • buying a "laugh-box" in a joke shop and turning it on at work or at home
  • showing your baby pictures to someone who's never seen them
  • thinking up your own way to get someone else to laugh with you
  • or just laughing for no apparent reason at all

While these are good suggestions, I have another ... POETRY! Here are some poems and collections sure to make you smile, it not giggle a bit.

I can open any Shel Silverstein collection and find something to make me laugh. Here's a favorite.
Check out to learn more about his books and read additional poems. You can also view animations of a number of them.

Jack Prelutsky is another poet for whom I can always turn to for a laugh. Here's one from the book A Pizza the Size of the Sun, written by Jack Prelutsky and illustrated by James Stevenson.

I’d Never Need A Haircut
by Jack Prelutsky

I’d never need a haircut
if I didn’t have a head,
and probably could manage
with no pillows on my bed.
I’d toss away the woolen cap
that shields me from the snow,
and soon dispense with tissues,
for I’d have no nose to blow.

I wouldn’t need a toothpick,
for I’d have no teeth to pick.
I’d have no tongue to talk with,
and I’d have no lips to lick.
I could slice a million onions
without shedding any tears,
and never have to wash behind
my nonexistent ears.

I’d have a new perspective
if my head should disappear,
and find it quite a challenge
showing anger, joy, or fear.
My parents would be puzzled,
they’d be baffled, they would stare,
when they made the observation
that my noodle wasn’t there.

There might be minor drawbacks
if the space above my neck
should become the site of nothing
more substantial than a speck.
I’d have to make adjustments
when I wanted to be fed—
I’d have a different outlook
if I didn’t have a head.

Poem © Jack Prelutsky, 1994. All rights reserved.

Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs (2012), written by J. Patrick Lewis and Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jeffrey Stewart Timmins, is a collection of humorous epitaphs highlighting the final moments in the lives of a number of different animals.

Ciao, Cow

This grave is peaceful,
the tombstone shaded,
but I'm not here—
I've been cream-ated.

Poem © J. Patrick Lewis, 2012. All rights reserved.

Final Pound for a Hound

Once he dug holes in the lawn;
now he's there himself,

Poem © Jane Yolen, 2012. All rights reserved.

Kenn Nesbitt, the most recent Children's Poet Laureate (2013-15), shares all kinds of funny poems on his web site, (You'll find them in his books too!) Here's a fun one.

I Tried to Take a Selfie
by Kenn Nesbitt

I tried to take a selfie
when I was all alone.
I never should have done it.
It broke my mobile phone.

I guess I'm not so pretty.
I thought that I was cuter.
I snapped one with my laptop
and busted the computer.

I cracked my father's camera.
My mother's iPad too.
This shouldn't be so difficult.
I don't know what to do.

At last I got a selfie;
perhaps the worst one yet.
I posted it online today.
It broke the Internet.

Poem © Kenn Nesbitt, 2015. All rights reserved.

Kenn also does some really great videos for his poems. Here's an example.

I'll close this post with a favorite from Mary Ann Hoberman. You can find this poem in Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems (1991), written by Mary Ann Hoberman and illustrated by Marylin Hafner.

Pick Up Your Room
by Mary Ann Hoberman

Pick up your room, my mother says
     (She says it every day);
My room’s too heavy to pick up,
     (That’s what I always say).

Drink up your milk, she says to me,
     Don’t bubble like a clown;
Of course she knows I’ll answer that
     I’d rather drink it down.

And when she says at eight o’clock,
     You must go right to bed,
We both repeat my answer:
     Why not go left instead?

Poem © Mary Ann Hoberman, 1991. All rights reserved.

That's it for today. I hope you'll join me tomorrow for our next celebration.

1 comment:

  1. My favorite holiday that I never knew about! Thanks for clueing me in. Your poems are great ("cream-ated"--bah ha ha!)